The Massive Perlite Outcrop in the Little Floridas

Ever since we did our “Little Floridas Summit” hikes a few weeks ago I have been itching to get back up the mountain. Not because I like steep hikes with tricky footing so much as I was having an attack of ‘rockhound-itis’. On that previous hike I had hiked along and over a HUGE outcrop of Perlite.

Looking Up at the Massive Perlite Ledges (the Black Blob in Center)

Alas, I did not have time to adequately explore it on that hike, but since finding a primo piece of Mahogany Perlite is pretty high on my list this year, I vowed to return.

I am talking about a really big outcrop here. It runs in a series of ledges and is about  75 feet wide and about 50 yards from top to bottom in a continuous flow. Massive.

Looking up Toward the Summit with the Perlite Outcrop on the Center.

The outcrop is located outside of Park boundaries. I’m guessing this is the case since I had to duck under a barbed wire fence to get there. It is in the same ravine off the Thunderegg Trail where all the excavation areas are located… just further up the hill.

It was challenging to clamber around the ledges, lots of prickly pear and loose rock, but it was worth the effort. I found many loose specimens of Mahogany Perlite, and saw many places where the colored veins of rich oxblood red color could be seen in the black Perlite.

Mahogany Perlite Specimen (wetted to enhance the colors)

My best find of the day was this 8″x4″x2″ beautifully veined rock. I may be bushed tonight, but it was totally worth it.


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